No, silly, I don't mean that you should spread infection! I'm referring to the new interweb phenomenon known as the Facebook. The Mattson Technology ViaVelo now has a Facebook event page to let people know all about the awesomeness that will soon overtake downtown San José. Check out the new page and then spread it to all your friends as you would cheer, happiness, or mononucleosis.
As many of you know, following Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's appearance at the National Bike Summit, he announced on his blog that "People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized." This announcement came alongside a policy revision that puts the interests of bicyclists and pedestrians on equal footing with the concerns of motorists.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a bicycle wheel that works as an energy storage system, electric motor, bluetooth interface, trip computer, and electric toothbrush. I may be mistaken about the electric toothbrush part, but hey, why not?
Yahoo! has announced the launch of its very own corporate cycling team. The team, to be led by former pro racer Kevin Klein, was created as a result of the high level of popularity enjoyed by cyclists in Silicon Valley. Cycling News cites an online survey that suggests 50% of Silicon Valley professionals are fans of the sport.
UPS has recently introduced bicycles to their Silicon Valley fleet of delivery vehicles. The move is an attempt to keep costs down - the company is notoriously efficient - but has also garnered some welcome publicity for the company. I, for one, am happy to oblige. Social movements usually gather extra steam when they are backed by corporate interests, so if UPS wants to share my bike lane, I say welcome to the club. The bicycle movement can use some high-profile help, and the UPS "riders" are nothing if not visible.
Well, look here: SVBC member Joe Walton guides us through the steps involved in bringing your bike along on a VTA bus ride.
TransForm has recently released a report titled, "Windfall For All: How Connected, Convenient Neighborhoods Can Protect Our Climate and Safeguard California’s Economy." The report looks at the four main population areas of the state - Southern CA, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, and Sacramento - and finds that residents could save $31 billion if all communities had the same level of efficient design and access to public transportation as the best 20%.
The Second Annual SVBC Benefit was a smashing success. The setting, the speakers, the sense of a community coming together all made the night special.
Well, it could be worse, but it certainly could be better, too. Transportation for America just released a report on the most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians. The report takes into account the percentage of residents who walk to work and the average annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people to acheive a "Pedestrian Danger Index," or PDI. The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area received a PDI of 71.9.
Dr. Christopher Thompson, a Los Angeles doctor, was found guilty of six felonies and one misdemeanor on Monday, November 2. The convictions concerned an incident of motorist-on-cyclist road rage last summer that left two cyclists badly injured.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Women serve as an indicator species for the health of a city's cycling scene; so says Scientific American in a recent article titled "How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road." The author argues that because of factors like gender roles and risk aversion, the proportion of women riding within a city can help urban planners gauge the success of their strategies. The article reasons that female ridership increases when cycling routes are safe and practical, and this of course increases overall ridership. What a concept!
Thanks to Jill Boone, the Climate Change & Sustainability Manager for Santa Clara County for sharing this link. It's a tool from Kiplinger that lets you calculate your cost savings when you ride your bike to work instead of driving. If the rate seems a little high, keep in mind that maintenance and repairs are factored in, too, not just gas. Of course, if my car breaks down again the best way to fix it will just be a little gas... and a match.
Calculate your savings at http://www.kiplinger.com/tools/bike/index.php.
I give you the following request from SVBC board member Paul Goldstein:
Commissioner Carl Guardino has asked MTC to investigate adding the segment of SR 9 to the Regional Bikeway Network in order to add shoulders which will allow cyclists room to ride on SR 9. The installation of center line rumble strips is a safety concern for cyclists since motorists may be reluctant to cross over the double yellow line to allow enough clearance when passing cyclists.
It's amazing what you come across by searching for "bicycle" in Google News. I just stumbled across this story about the Africa Bike: a heavy single speed with coaster brakes that is apparently just what the doctor ordered for remote regions of the African continent. This thing is 45 lbs. and carries 100 kg of cargo (that's 220 lbs!).